As discussed on yesterday’s show with Melanie Phillips and Gerard Baker, and as will be discussed with Lawrence Wright today, the evidence of efforts by al Qaeda to strike in the west is growing, and the indifference of the public to the threat is astonishing.
Al Qaeda is regrouping in some strange places like Mali, and while its forces in Iraq are repeatedly defeated and its leadership there killed or captured, the network’s propagandists continue to push out messages claiming success there and encouraging jihadists to come to Iraq to join in the war.
In the U.S., despite efforts by some serious journalists like Wright and Michael Barone to keep some focus on the threat from al Qaeda in Iraq and elsewhere across the globe, the public is repeatedly told by the Democrats and the MSM that the U.S. can withdraw from Iraq and fight terrorism effectively in Afghanistan. This is delusional and dangerous, but so seductive that it will probably take another spectacularly lethal attack for the west to confront the menace with renewed resolve.
We cannot ignore the enemy in Iraq, and to walk away from them will be to turn first Iraq over to them, and then to await the export of their nihilism in ever greater volume. “They are ruthless killers who often seem to kill just for the pleasure of it,” Michael O’Hanlon writes in today’s Washington Times. “To put it somewhat more precisely, ex-Saddamists want to restore a Sunni autocracy, and al Qaeda wants to return the region to the seventh century and is willing to kill anybody along the way to do so. There is no merit in either vision according to any serious cultural or moral code in the world today.”
We have not lost the war in Iraq as soldiers from Harry Reid’s own state are stating. (HT: Instapundit.) But we are far from winning it and the broader conflict of which it is a part, and we cannot simply withdraw from that theater and hope for the best. The refusal to see the enemy and to believe the enemy’s own declarations is wildly irresponsible, but that is the what the Pelosi-Reid Democrats are doing. If they succeed in demoralizing the country and engineering its defeat, the blows that fall on us in the future will be their responsibility.